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July horoscope for PISCES

11 Pisces

Quarantine has given you a break from being an emotional sponge, but you’re forced to break some social boundaries on the 1st as Saturn returns to your friendship sector. At the lunar eclipse on the 5th, surround yourself with people who inspire you rather than those you think you have to hang out with. The new moon in Cancer on the 20th gets you back in touch with your creativity that has felt elusive for the last few months. Finally, you’re ready to read that feminist retelling of King Lear (or at least, try that difficult cake recipe). By the 30th, you’re at a place you can share something you’ve made with the world—or at least with everyone who follows you on Instagram.

Love Horoscope: Through the 12th, Mercury retrograde has you pining for a long-lost ex or a distant crush. Instead of giving into the urge to be the “ex who texts,” focus on manifesting a future-oriented and ideal relationship. At the new moon on the 20th, you finally meet someone worth your attention.

Money Horoscope: With Mars transiting your personal finance sector for the next six months, money is constantly coming in and going right back out. But if you have the power to earn, you also have the power to save. On the 27th, a long overdue invoice is finally paid so put that cash somewhere safe.

INFJ Spirit Animals

INFJ Spirit Animals: What Best Symbolizes the INFJ

It is said that we walk the earth with various spirit guides, some of which include animals. While to some people the idea of a spirit animal seems like a cute and fun thing, to others it is a serious inner and spiritual belief. Many cultures believe in spirit guides and their ability to help us through challenging times and lead us down the right path. For some this includes animals, and we can potentially have different guides for different times in our lives. There are also spirit animals which stay with us, ones which represent our personality and who are inside. There are other animal guides which are just meant to help us through a specific time in our lives and give us a sense of guidance towards the right direction. It is also said that we do not choose our guides, but rather they choose us. It is important to be open to the different spirit animals around us and the signs they are trying to convey along the way.

While it is important to uncover your spirit animal on your own, that doesn’t mean there aren’t potential animals which might connect with each type the most. There are certainly a few spirit animals which most INFJs will find themselves connected to at one point in their lives, sometimes because they share similar qualities and other times because the message is truly important for them. INFJs are intuitive people but there are times when they might need a little help to inspire them in the right direction. For them it is valuable to be open to these animal guides in hopes of learning more about themselves and the paths they should be following in order to accomplish the best possible outcomes. INFJs are often very connected to animals naturally, and so for them the belief in spirit animals might be something they are rather receptive to.

Owl- The owl spirit animal is very connected to the INFJ, since they are representative of wisdom and intuition. The INFJ does have a rather powerful sense of intuition, and their owl spirit often shows them to follow and trust in this belief. They might have a hard time really trusting in this at times, possibly searching outward for answers. When the INFJ is really struggling to rely on their own intuitive abilities, the owl guide will come to them in hopes of helping the INFJ trust in themselves more. The owl is a symbol of wisdom and intelligence, and INFJs care deeply about learning and using their inner minds to accomplish things in life. INFJs have such rich inner worlds that sometimes they find themselves buried in their own thoughts and imagination. The owl spirit does connect with this part of the INFJ, but also shows them to trust in themselves and the things they know.

Owls also represent a sign of change or a death of the past, which can mean it is time for the INFJ to accept change in their lives. When they feel a connection to their owl animal then that means the INFJ needs to be more receptive to something new. Change can actually be difficult for the INFJ at times, since they prefer to remain within their comfort zones. While it might be a challenge, change is inevitable and sometimes the INFJ needs to become more open to this in their lives. Their owl guide comes to the INFJ in hopes of telling them it is time to open up to this change, and to be comfortable with letting go of the past so that they can move towards bigger and greater things.

Bat- The bat spirit guide actually represents intuition and reading the signs around them. INFJs are strong intuitive people and there are times when they need to learn to develop and trust in this ability. The bat guide helps them to turn to this inner part of themselves and stop being fearful of what it might mean. INFJs might encounter a bit of self-doubt in their lives, especially when people attempt to challenge their knowledge. Having a strong intuition isn’t always an easy thing, especially when everyone around them continues to doubt their behaviors. People might not easily understand the abilities of the INFJ, since they don’t always have obvious explanations for where their predictions come from. The INFJs intuition isn’t some sort of magical or unrealistic thing, it simply comes from picking up information and processing it through their own inner minds. While this is something that happens naturally, people might not trust in it. This can make it hard for the INFJ to trust in themselves, especially when they feel strange because of it. Their bat guide is telling them to stop turning to others for reassurance, but to look inward because they do best when they trust in themselves and what they know.

INFJs might experience a connection to the signs around them at times, or even recognize dreams as important. Their bat guide might come to them in dreams and help them to learn how to trust in these parts of themselves. INFJs really do need to learn to understand their own abilities and feel a sense of confidence for what they have gone through. INFJs have so many unique skills and talents and for them it is vital to learn to grow in these special parts of themselves. Their bat guide simply wants to teach the INFJ that their intuition is a powerful tool and one they should not abandon for the sake of pleasing those around them.

Swan- The beautiful swan spirit guide represents many wonderful qualities, ones which the INFJ is usually quite drawn to. The swan represents a sense of loyalty and love, and the INFJ certainly connects to this part of themselves. INFJs are compassionate people who truly care about helping those around them, and care about being loyal to the people in their lives. This is why they are often naturally connected to the swan guide, since they are creatures who represent faith and love. The swan is about connecting to these relationships, but also finding a sense of self-love which can be challenging for the INFJ at times. When the swan guide comes to them it is trying to help the INFJ learn to use this inner sense of love and caring, and turn it on themselves as well. While they care deeply for other people finding a sense of compassion for themselves can be difficult for them at times. And so their swan spirit guide wants the INFJ to show themselves a sense of love and patience, which they often give to those around them.

The swan also represents inner strength and beauty, and seeing this beauty in those around them. INFJs are definitely capable of grabbing onto this inner strength and finding a sense of confidence in their abilities and who they are, and in order to do this they need to rely on themselves and really dive inward. Their swan guide is helping them to see the beauty within and become confident in their own strengths and power. The swan also represents an understanding of the future, which is something the intuitive INFJs often possesses naturally.

Raven-  The raven guide represents introspection and looking inward to understand themselves and their true path. While INFJs do have a rich inner world there are times when they might neglect their own needs and feelings for the sake of others. When the raven guide comes to the INFJ it is because they need to really take time for introspection. While INFJs spend so much time alone inside of their minds, that doesn’t mean they easily dig deep into their own feelings and needs. The INFJ can feel guilty really focusing on their own desires, because they become so caught up in what everyone else wants around them. Their raven guide is trying to tell the INFJ that it is time to look inward and gain a stronger sense of self-knowledge. In order to learn about themselves the INFJ needs to take this time without feeling guilty about it. They need to be comfortable focusing on themselves and really diving into their own inner desires and emotions for a while. This will help the INFJ to uncover what they want and work towards accomplishing their true goals without feeling a sense of guilt over this.

The raven guide is meant to give the INFJ confidence and courage along their path in life. While they might need to embark on a journey which is a bit difficult for them, their raven guide is there to give them inner strength. When the INFJ feels connected to the raven that means it is time to find their inner courage and work towards accomplishing their true goals in life. It isn’t always easy for them to take this journey towards introspection and understanding their needs, but it is certainly important if the INFJ wants to grow and develop themselves into the person they are meant to be.

Eagle- The eagle guide represents a sense of freedom and resilience, which are certainly important things for the INFJ. They care about having a sense of independence in their lives, and feeling free is more important to them than people realize. The INFJ might feel crushed by the weight of those around them, and they will still strive to live up to their expectations. While INFJs need to feel independent, they might not get this in their current situations. Because of this the INFJ who is giving into their sense of guilt, likely doesn’t feel completely like themselves. During this time it really can be overwhelming for the INFJ, which is why they are deeply in need of the presence of their eagle guide. Their eagle spirit animal comes to the INFJ when they need to connect to this desire to be free and make their own choices. When they are feeling stifled by those around them and trying to help those people, the INFJ really does need to take a step back and consider themselves. Their eagle guide is showing them that it is okay to take time for themselves and to break free from those restrictions and that feeling of guilt they might be experiencing.

The eagle guide also represents healing, which is definitely connected to the spirit of the INFJ. They are naturally healing people who believe in doing what they can to help others improve and feel better. INFJs are often natural healers who care about helping people and really want to be capable of tending to their needs. This part of the INFJ definitely connects them to the eagle guide, since they have this natural ability to heal the emotional wounds of those around them and to help them feel a sense of compassion and safety when they are around the INFJ.

While the INFJ certainly can experience a connection to many different spirit animals throughout their lives, these are the ones who seem to connect most to their inner selves and their needs. When the INFJ experiences a connection with a certain animal it is important to figure out why, and try their best to be receptive to the message they are receiving. INFJs are people who find themselves naturally connected to animals, and so their connection with their spirit animal is likely a powerful and meaningful one. They have certain traits which might connect them with the animal listed above, but of course it isn’t quite as simple as that. There are plenty of other animal guides which might be the perfect match for the specific INFJ and the message they are needing to hear in any given time of their lives.

6 months into 2020, how many of your resolutions have you kept??

  1. Sleep more. NOPE!

Commit to those eight hours. Proper shuteye is linked to better mental health and a lower risk for physical health conditions.

  1. Cut back on sugar. NOPE!

It’s difficult but it can be life changing if you pull it off.

  1. Limit sodium intake. NOPE!

Too much sodium is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and more.

  1. Pick up crafting. NOPE!

Experts say activities like knitting can ease anxiety and put you in a meditative state. And you get a scarf in the process? I have purchased needles and yarn, but haven’t touched them since I got them.

  1. Plan a trip. NOPE!

You’ll boost your mood instantly.. I planned a few, all got CANCELLED! 

  1. Go for strolls more often. YUP! 

It’s actually a really healthy exercise, according to science. Hit the pavement. It is not like I have many other choices these days! 

  1. Cut back on complaining. NOPE!

Negative thought patterns can increase stress levels. Try a mindful experiment where when you catch yourself complaining ― or thinking negatively ― you counteract it with something positive. Easier said than done at this time in our lives!! 

  1. Compliment someone once a day. NOPE!

And not just on their appearance. Genuine compliments can go a long way for both you and the other person. Who exactly??..

  1. Practice gratitude. YUP! 

Studies suggest that gratitude can improve overall well-being and may even boost physical health. Try keeping score of what you appreciate every day.

  1. Go to therapy. YUP! 

Therapy can be an incredibly useful tool for self discovery or as a way to work out life’s challenges.

  1. Forget what you were told about drinking eight glasses a day and aim for hydration instead.
  2. Commit to a strength-training routine. NOPE!

Building muscle can help protect you against injury and even sharpen your cognitive skills. Start small ― even just using your body weight ― and increase as you get stronger.

  1. Talk to more strangers. NOPE!

It pays to make a little eye contact.

  1. Say “no” more often. NOPE!

Burnout is real and it can happen in a blink of an eye. Make sure you’re prioritizing yourself and not saying “yes” to everything because it feels like an obligation. Self-care isn’t selfish.

  1. Use all of your vacation days. NOPE!

Taking a break is super important for your well-being. Don’t feel like taking a vacation? Try a mental health day, instead.

  1. Learn a language. NOPE!

Say “hej hej” or “bonjour” to a new life skill. Research even supports the theory that it’ll boost your brain.

  1. Forgive someone. YUP! 

Anger and resentment is like holding onto internal poison and can even harm your physical health. Life’s too short to not move on.

  1. Practice self-acceptance. In progress!

It’s actually a key to a happier life! Make your internal dialogue as kind as it would be if you were talking to your best friend.

  1. Say a mantra every day. In progress!

Mantras can keep you grounded in the moment, allowing you to reap the rewards of mindfulness.

  1. Cut back on alcohol. NOPE!

Sure, a little is fine! The negatives outweigh the positives in the long term in this case.

  1. Go outside more often.

Not only does it improve your mood, you get the added perks of exercise. Win-win.

  1. Make your bed every day.  In progress!

No act of organization is too small. And it may make you happier.

  1. Do an activity outside of your comfort zone. NOPE!

There’s a whole life to discover on the other side of your routine. Not to mention the fact that doing something different may boost creativity.

  1. Pick a theme for the year. YUP! 

This year is the best one yet, all of my dreams and desires will manifest, even better than I could have prayed for. The year of  Loving Me! 

  1. Fix your posture. In progress!

Straightening up is not only an instant confidence booster, it can also prevent back problems and reduce stress. Your future self may just thank you.

  1. Spend time with people who think differently than you do. NOPE!

Empathy, or the ability to walk in another’s shoes, is the foundation for a lot of positive perks. The more you expand yourself and open your eyes to different perspectives, the more open minded you become.

  1. Love yourself. In progress! 

Because you’re all you’ve got ― no matter what.

  1. Continue writing  In progress!

It will lead to the book you know you are meant to write and share

  1. Lower debt YUP! 

Focus on freedom

  1. Everything out of California YUP! 
  2. Madison NOPE!

Working towards the goal!

  1. Love, Partner, Soul Mate, Friend, Lover In progress!

Because I deserve it.

Well, these are tricky. Since, I didn’t see the pandemic happening.

So, getting to the gym, didn’t happen. Paying down debt, has not been easy, because I am bored at home, working part time, and shopping online.

I did get into a relationship but “honeymoon” period never really happened, we are stuck either indoors or walking outside. He wants to be outdoors, I want to be inside. See the problem!

Lose weight? How if I am bored with little to distract me from the kitchen!

Stop smoking, what?? What else can I do with all this time on my hands….eat…..??? Vicious cycle…..!!!!

Travel…. NOPE! 

I am really looking forward to this all being over! 

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed! 

 

3 Steps To Mastering Your Energy During Uncertain Times by Sarah Negus

As I sat drinking hallucinogenic tea at an ayahuasca healing ceremony, deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, I was hit with a stark realization. I was never going to fulfill my dreams and my ambitions by continuing to look outside of myself. I needed to look within me, deep within me. To the heart of my personal energy. At that moment I realized – everything is energy.

It’s a fact that continues to impact my life and work 20 years later. I live, breathe, and work from a deep understanding, belief, and knowing that everything is energy. I am energy, you are energy, every single emotion you have is energy.

How things started for me

All those years ago I had traveled to the Peruvian rainforest as part of my apprenticeship with a shaman. I’d been drawn to her work after a chance encounter we had. Within 30 minutes of meeting her she told me all the things I was too afraid to tell myself.

I met her at a time in my life where I was deeply unhappy, I had experienced multiple car accidents, battled chronic illness, and I was exhausted after a long and stressful career working as a banker in the city. Meeting her was truly life-changing. She helped me understand the responsibility I have over my own life – that my inner world was more important than my outer world, and most importantly, that we all have an immense personal energy and power deep within us.

Mastering your personal energy

Connecting with your highest energy allows you to reach your utmost potential in all areas of your life, allowing you to create the miracles you’ve been dreaming about effortlessly and gracefully. Energy is all around us, we can find it everywhere. Your dreams and desires are energy. Even the chair you’re sitting on, the table you eat supper at, your car, your house, the trees, everything is energy. And our job as humans is to really be able to master our own energy, which is made up of our beliefs, thoughts, perceptions, emotions, behaviors, and actions.

Your beliefs are often completely subconscious. They govern how you feel. Your feelings and beliefs lead to your thoughts, and your thoughts create behaviors that color and mold your actions. All of these things come together and create your perception of who you are, of your life, and of everyone and everything around you.

Energetic mastery

Energetic mastery is not a destination. It is a voyage, a journey, an adventure and it never ends, for every level of mastery you achieve there will be another layer to discover. This energetic voyage is about all of you, mastering your human self, your spiritual self, and bringing these two things closer and closer together so you can live more and more from your higher senses, from your vibration of love, from your frequency of being the best you.

It brings a consciousness to you that you are a success in your being without outside forces proving that. It allows you to thrive in every area of your life. Energetic mastery allows you to live your purpose – to be you, an absolute channel for the universal flow. You are the universe making sense of itself as you live in your world.

Here are my 3 steps for mastering your personal energy, even during these uncertain times.

1. Setting your energetic center

The first part of energetic mastery is setting your energetic center. First, call your energy back to you from wherever it is in the Universe. This is most commonly done through meditation. While meditating, settle your consciousness into your midline, the deepest most central part of yourself. Reach into the energy of the Universe, and ground yourself with the energy of Gaia, Mother Earth.

2. Seed a powerful intention in the Divine Matrix of energy

The second step is all about connecting with your highest potential in all areas of your life. Ask yourself, if you could have anything, what would you like to call into your life? What would you like to focus on? What would you like to experience more of? Try journaling around these ideas until you truly feel into them and have an idea of where you are going.

3. Consciously connect with specific frequencies, i.e. joy, wealth, abundance

The last step is about recognizing and connecting with the frequency of your highest potential. You can take specific frequencies of energy such as anger, sadness, or jealousy and transmute them into different frequencies. It’s important to recognize that every difficult, challenging emotion is a distortion of a quality that can support your growth. Anger can translate into motivation and desire, and sadness and jealousy can translate into love. Explore your energetic frequencies and how easy it is to shift and change them with your intention.

4 Steps To Move Forward When You’ve Made A Serious Mistake By Istari Paidhrin-Wales

At the end of a mentally and emotionally draining day, I did it. I made a mistake. I sent a message to a client before verifying all the details of their situation, and half the content ended up not applying to them at all. I was dumbstruck, and there was nothing I could do to fix it.

While this may sound like such a small and innocuous incident to the logical and objective reader, at that moment, no part of me could connect with that side of myself. I was pure exhaustion, pure emotion, and unbearably uncomfortable because of it. If I could have balled up that feeling and launched it to the moon, I would have. Instead, I received the gift of having to sit with myself and look into the depth behind this tiny, fleeting moment of a mistake. What I learned was hard to look at and also changed how I face mistakes forever.

I learned that I hold myself to unsustainable standards. I hold myself to showing up as a master, as a perfect knower and worker in every moment, living behind all that is the fear of being found out as a fraud, as a failure. With that crazy matchstick box of expectations, no wonder this tiny moment sent me into a spiral. Why couldn’t I have just checked that message one more time? Can you relate?

As I sat with the discomfort, something interesting happened. The world didn’t come crashing down around me. No emails streamed in, letting me know I was going to be kicked off the planet. All my biggest fears didn’t come true. The gift of this experience, which honestly has been a lifetime of experiences, is that making a mistake, that being uncomfortable and having regret, isn’t the messenger of impending doom. Being uncomfortable was the vehicle to get my attention. Regret was a gift letting me know that something in my life —something in me — was no longer feeding my well-being. From this experience, I began a four-step practice to guide myself through every unbearably, uncomfortable mistake.

SEE ALSO: 10 Tools For Managing The Ego

Step 1 – Stop. Become still. Breathe

So often, when something unexpected happens, especially something unpleasant, we feel the impulse to move faster. Autopilot kicks in, and we want to do something, anything, to get out of that moment. The best responses are intentional ones. Pausing to find our breath is one of the best ways to make space for our intentions to come back to us.

Give it a try! The Box Breath (4-4-4-4) is one of my favorites because it helps regulate my physical response while also occupying my mind.

  • Breathe in for a count of 4
  • Hold for a count of 4
  • Breathe out for a count of 4
  • Hold for a count of 4

Try to complete at least 5 to 10 breath cycles before checking in to see how you feel. You can increase or decrease the count so that it doesn’t feel like a strain or too quick, so long as the counts remain equal.

Step 2 – See through the eyes of a friend

This one feels especially satisfying because we get to step outside ourselves, outside our discomfort, for a moment (which can also help the discomfort dissipate sooner). Role-play that you are your best, kindest, most understanding friend. One who would never judge you and with whom you feel able to speak entirely freely. From that space, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What actually happened?
  2. What truth am I forcing on myself because of what happened?
  3. What feeling or fear lives behind that truth?
  4. What needs live behind that feeling or fear?
  5. What big or small thing can I do to help meet that need?

Being a great friend to yourself, seek out or do whatever answer came to you at the end of these questions. Self-compassion is the best antidote to the fears that haunt us.

Step 3 – Move yourself

If any residual feelings of discomfort, fear, or regret remain, get up and move your body. Take a walk, clean a room, stretch, or do a few rounds of a yoga flow. Any form of movement that feels good and creates space in your body will work. Emotions create an energetic imprint on our bodies, and intentional action helps clear the energy out.

Step 4 – Find the deeper meaning

Once you feel settled inside yourself again, pause, and take a moment to invite the deeper meaning of your experience.

  1. What golden nugget can you carry forward with you?
  2. What has the experience allowed you to see that you weren’t able to see before?
  3. What part of this do you want to embrace going forward? What do you want to release?
  4. What is one thing you can do to solidify the version of yourself you want to live going forward? When will you do it?

Ultimately, our mistakes and the regret they inspire are opportunities to bring our attention to something we are unaware of, have developed a tolerance for, or that our wisest self wants us to change going forward. Every moment, every experience, provides you with an opportunity to choose who you want to be. Who will you decide to become?

Father’s Day

Dad ME
At Dad’s house in 2000

Father’s Day. Honestly if it weren’t for all the commercials, signs and reminders, I wouldn’t have remembered it was Fathers day.

This is probably because, although I have a Father who is still alive, how I believe and think a Father should be, is not how I would describe mine.

While he always provided not only for his children but some of his Fathers children, he did little else on a consistent basis.

He makes little to no effort to to have a relationship with half of his children in his life, I sometimes forget I have a Father, this makes me sad if I stop to think about it.

It finally came to me!

For the last three almost four months, I have been trying to figure out a nickname for my boyfriend, but nothing came naturally or seemed right, until… One night it came to me spontaneously, “Tweety Bird”!!

download

For some reason, he reminded me of Tweety bird, so I said it and it came out in a child like voice, which gives me a sense of tenderness and love. It is perfect!

I feel good when I call him, Tweety bird, and so far he is o.k. with his new nickname. A win, win!

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed! 

Does pornography use affect a couple’s sex life? By Anne Bercht

What do professionals say about pornography?

Recommendations among professionals regarding pornography use and its effects on a marriage vary. Some experts claim that pornography use can, in fact, benefit a relationship, because it can lead to more open discussion between partners about what they like, as well as serving as a stimulus.

However, more recent research has shown that pornography use, especially where one partner masturbates to pornography, can hurt a couples’ intimacy, connection and sex life.

One of the most respected experts in the world when it comes to relationships and marriage is John Gottman. More than thirty years of research done by Gottman at his famous “Love Lab” in Seattle provides us all with principles that make marriage work. Gottman takes a scientific, rather than a moral approach. In the past, the Gottman institute stand was that soft pornography when mutually consensual could perhaps enhance the marriage. However, their extended years of research is now showing that this is not the case. Pornography is detrimental to a couples’ sex life, and thus to their marriage.

I unfortunately, have experienced this in a past relationship, and I could not agree MORE! It is a killer of the relationship and intimacy in so many ways. 

Thankful, Grateful & Blessed! To NO longer have to deal with a porn addict! 

Is Your ADHD Ruining Your Happily Ever After? Do you struggle to commit to a relationship, whether with your spouse or a child? Level up your listening skills and tame temptation with these expert tips for a happy, healthy relationship. BY LARA HONOS-WEBB, PH.D.

You wonder whether you’ll ever be able to settle down in a relationship, afraid that no one will ever let you be yourself with adult ADHD.

You tell yourself, Listen, listen, just listen, when talking with loved ones.

You try to be patient with a partner who seems to move in slow motion compared to your own faster tempo. You think, “Why do I always have to slow down? Why doesn’t anyone try, just for one day, to keep up with me?”

Your need for action and stimulation isn’t a character defect, it’s just a difference. ADHD is not a disorder that has to be hidden. If you can help your partner see the world from your point of view, you’re on your way to a fulfilling relationship.

The Gifts of ADHD

Impatience, inattention, and fidgeting — all symptoms of ADHD — are not crimes.

With these “deficits” come a lively mind and a life of fun and excitement. You have a lot to offer your spouse and children using your own personal style. If you can articulate — to yourself and others — how your ADHD is a gift, it won’t rob you of your vitality and life. To build a strong relationship, advocate for your gifts.

You won’t last in a relationship in which your ADHD traits are summed up as bad behavior. When someone tells you there’s something wrong with you, it hurts. Your partner calling you a “spazz,” or saying you need to “chill” at every turn, can take a serious toll. Let your partner know that such negativity is harmful. Tell him that it hurts to be told there’s something wrong with who you are. Such an admission can build intimacy between the two of you. If you try to cover up the hurt, it will lead to resentment that will prevent you from connecting with your spouse.

If you believe that you shouldn’t feel hurt — or, worse, that you deserve your partner’s criticisms — it is likely you’ll eventually want to end the relationship. Being stuck in reform school is a recipe for resentment.

Because adults with ADHD constantly crave new experiences, maintaining a long-term relationship can be a struggle, even without the burden of criticism. If resentment builds, an their need for stimulation is likely to create the impulse to find another partner. But if you educate your partner about your condition — and its gifts — he won’t be so critical. Try using these statements to advocate for yourself and to show your loved one what you are doing right:

“It’s true I was having trouble listening, but I was keying in to your emotions.” “You’re right: I can’t sit still with the kids, but I can be lots of fun.” “I can’t be as patient as I would like, but I keep our social life hopping.”

Once your spouse understands ADHD and appreciates your strengths, it doesn’t mean that you won’t have problems to solve. Working through them, using the strategies below, will dramatically increase your odds of having a loving relationship.

Find Common Interests

Doing things together as a couple sounds easy, but adults with ADHD often lack patience for activities that a spouse enjoys. Anything that is slow or requires attention to detail can feel like torture to some adults with ADHD: For instance, your partner asks you to play backgammon, but you’d rather pluck out your eyelashes than concentrate on its rules. Or your partner asks you to join him to watch a foreign-language film, and you would rather see an action flick. Although such differences seem tough to resolve, there are solutions (see “Bond with Your Spouse,” below).

Instead of letting backgammon or movies separate you and your spouse, show respect for his passion, while honoring your own interests. How? Give your partner a backgammon set, a book on backgammon strategy, or a night off from family duties to play the game with others.

While you may never share your lover’s enjoyment of board games, you can find activities that make you both happy. If you and he enjoy Italian food, say, come up with activities planned around that interest. Try different Italian restaurants, take a trip to Italy, read cookbooks, or collect Italian wines.

If you compromise yourself, chances are, your relationship will fail. This doesn’t mean that your partner should always be ready to meet your needs. It means that you shouldn’t consistently defer to the other person.

Exercise 1: Bond with Your Spouse

Don’t fight with your partner over competing interests. Focus your attention, instead, on interests that you share. Here’s how:

  • Each of you should compile a list of 100 interests — intellectual topics, sports events, foods, anything that piques your interest. Nothing is too lowbrow or highbrow to go on your lists.
  • Review the lists to identify overlapping interests. Create a new list from these and rank them in order of how much each of you likes them.
  • For each of your top five shared interests, come up with activities that the two of you would enjoy. If you both like classical music, you could visit music stores together, attend concerts, go on drives while listening to CDs, share downloads with each other, take singing classes, start a classical music blog, or read books on favorite artists.
  • Now slot some of these activities into your weekly schedule.

Listen to Your Spouse

Not being listened to is the major complaint of those in intimate relationships with adults who have ADHD. For many, listening to others is hard. In some cases, you may actually be listening, but you look so spaced-out that others think you are not.

Although those with ADHD can’t stand it when others repeat themselves, you may unwittingly be causing them to do so. If you’re impatient and tend to interrupt, your partner may feel he’s not being heard. So he repeats himself, which causes you to tune out even more. Remember: When others feel they have been heard, they will stop repeating themselves. For people in long-term relationships, good listening can break a dysfunctional pattern that has gone on for years — perhaps for decades.

Exercise 2: Listen and Learn

Sometimes your conversations seem to go on forever. That’s because your sense of time is distorted by feelings of restlessness. So you interrupt your spouse or change the topic. This listening exercise will make your partner feel that he has been heard.

  • Figure out the time of day when you typically clash with your spouse over not listening. It may be just after he gets home from work and wants to talk about his stressful day.
  • Sit down with him and let him talk. Do not interrupt for five minutes. If you find yourself getting distracted or looking at the clock, put your attention back on the conversation.
  • At the end of five minutes, summarize what you heard. You might say, “Wow, it sounds like you had a really hectic day. The lousy commute, the awful meeting, and then your boss wanted the proposal done by the end of the day. At least you got to stop at the gym on the way home.” Of course, you can listen for more than five minutes. I have coached people to look like they’re listening-make eye contact and lean toward the person, even if you’re not absorbing every word. If you can’t listen much beyond five minutes, then give yourself permission to do something you want to do. You may say, “Now that you’re home, would you mind hanging out with Robbie for a bit while I go for a run?”

If you’re like most adults with ADHD, your partner will be shocked and pleased that you have listened to him for a full five minutes.

Show Commitment

The main symptoms of ADHD-impulsiveness and the need for constant stimulation and excitement-can enhance or threaten relationships. Because adults  with ADHD are impatient and easily bored, adventurous sexual activities are highly stimulating to them. Attraction to the new and different can cause you to find it difficult to stay monogamous. Adults with ADHD are also usually emotionally uninhibited, which can be attractive to others. This can lead to infidelity (see “Tame Temptation,” below).

The upside is that, once an adult with ADHD makes a commitment, life won’t be boring for his or her spouse. Their creativity will keep things lively, both in the bedroom and in social and recreational activities. I talked with an adult with ADHD who had found the woman whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. While he loved her, he couldn’t make a commitment. She was afraid that he was interested in other women. This hurt their relationship and put him on edge. He realized that committing to his lover would lead to a happy marriage.

Exercise 3: Tame Temptation

Impatience and impulsivity cause many relationship problems for adults with ADHD. Indeed, temptation sometimes overrides longer-term needs and desires. The following activity will you help weigh your choices.

  • Imagine you are at a party celebrating your 25th wedding anniversary. Where would it be held? Who would be there? What gift would you give your spouse?
  • Is the person you are now with the one you want to be with at your anniversary? Or do you want to be there with someone else? How will you feel, on your 25th wedding anniversary, about the person who may now be causing you to consider cheating on your partner? How would indulging your temptations make you feel on that day in the future? Would it be worth it?
  • If you feel that cheating might be worth it, make a list of 10 people you have been attracted to in the last 10 years. Write down your feelings about each of them, and whether or not you acted on your feelings. Review the list. What does it tell you about your feelings of sexual attraction? Can you see a difference between the person you want in your life for the long haul and those you don’t? If cheating on your partner still seems like a good idea, you may want to consult a marriage counselor to help you figure out how to move forward.

9 Women Share the Best Advice They’ve Gotten from Their Therapists During the Pandemic

9 Women Share the Best Advice They’ve Gotten from Their Therapists During the Pandemic

Between being cooped up with our partner 24/7worrying about our parents’ health and trying to keep the kids occupied, the pandemic is really straining our mental health. Which is why we’ve been really grateful for our standing Friday morning appointment with our therapist lately. But we realize that not everyone has access to a therapist (although they totally should). So in an effort to “spread the wealth,” as this tweet so eloquently puts it, we asked nine women to share the best advice they’ve gotten from their therapists during this time. From breathing exercises to thought reframing techniques, here are the tips that have helped.

1. Choose smaller things to look forward to

“I was really upset when I realized that plans I had made for the fall would likely be affected by coronavirus, so my therapist told me to try reframing the things I am looking forward to so that they’re smaller. For example, looking forward to gorgeous weather over the weekend or having my boyfriend cook me a new recipe rather than planning any trips or trying to think about a time when things return to ‘normal.’”—Abby H.

2. Know that it’s OK to have two emotions at once

“My therapist told me ‘you can recognize how lucky you are and how much this sucks at the same time,’ and it really helped.”—Becca L.

3. Try not to worry just for the sake of worrying

“She told me that worrying is just a false sense of control and, as a perpetual worrier, my mind was totally blown.”—Caroline A.

4. Feel free to watch all the Netflix you want

“I’ve been bombarded with emails and social media posts telling me to be productive and use this time to discover, create and hustle. Fortunately, my saint of a therapist has reassured me that it’s perfectly fine to lay on the couch and binge The Office for the 100th time. As long as I’m doing things that make me happy and keep my anxiety at bay, then why wouldn’t I be doing these ‘mundane’ activities?”—Rachel G.

5. Start practicing mindfulness regularly

“My therapist suggested that I start practicing mindfulness regularly as a way to help me stay calm during this stressful and uncertain time. I’ve been loving the Headspace app. The guided meditations and mindfulness exercises have helped me a lot.”—Kayleigh H.

6. Remember that feelings are temporary

“I’ve been feeling kind of all over the place lately, and my therapist told me to remember that all feelings are temporary, and that I’m not irrational or erratic for feeling all of them.”—Natalie Z.

7. Be proud of yourself

“One morning, my therapist ended our Zoom session by reminding me that despite the circumstances, I’m managing pretty well. Living through a pandemic isn’t easy. Even making it through the day to day is something to be proud of.”—Kara C.

8. Learn how to do 4-7-8 breathing

“Sometimes, I get overwhelmed with anxiety and it feels like I can’t breathe. My therapist taught me the 4-7-8 breathing technique, and it really helps. You inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, then exhale for 8. After I do it for a few rounds, my anxiety melts away.”—Lucy B.

9. Speak up about what you need in order to cope

“My husband was acting like a doomsday prepper and it was really stressing me out. My therapist suggested that when he gets into his planning mode that I just tell him, ‘When you say that, it makes me anxious.’ It sounds simple, but after a few weeks we totally got on the same page and haven’t really bugged each other because we started communicating more.”—Haley S.

 Kara Cuzzone